Despite one of the most glamorous teams in Indian Premier League, the Kings XI Punjab could never deliver as per their true potential. They reached the playoffs only twice in 12 seasons and despite making some wholesome changes in 2018 it did not bring expected result for their management and fans. They have released quite a few players and also with aged stars like Chris Gayle they would look to strengthen their squad during the auction on 19th December.
Martin Guptill has played more than 230 T20 matches and has an aggregate tally of 6,805 runs with a strike rate above 130. However, in IPL he did not get many chances and could not flourish. He was part of IPL in three seasons for two different teams Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad and played only 13 matches till then in those three seasons. The success of David Warner – Jonny Bairstow duo at the top ensured that there were very few chances for Guptill in Sunrisers and he was released by them last month. Guptill can be a good pick for the Kings, providing vital backup support for Chris Gayle who is getting caught up with the age finally.
Marcus Stoinis has played for multiple IPL franchises and a return to Kings XI Punjab’s roster can be useful for both the player and the franchise. Kings have released all-rounders like Moises Henriques and Sam Curran and the attacking Australian all-rounder Stoinis can add lots of balance in their lineup. Stoinis who has opened in the 2019 Big Bash league with a lot of success will also look to get an opportunity to play regularly and the nature of the pitches at Mohali can ensure that he becomes a regular member of the KXIP eleven if gets picked during the auction.
The leg-spinner Qais Ahmad can develop a deadly partnership with Mujeeb Ur Rahman, his compatriot under the coaching of Anil Kumble in KXIP. Already a known face in global T20 leagues, Qais recently finished a successful Abu Dhabi T10 tournament for Bangla Tigers. Qais was under focus from a very young age and was the highest wicket-taker for Afghanistan in the 2018 Under-19 World Cup. He went unsold in the last auction but this time there is a strong chance that he will be picked to play in the IPL and Kings can be one of the teams who are looking to include the youngster in their armoury.
Kings XI Punjab will enter in the IPL 2020 Auction with the whopping purse of Rs. 42.70 Crores.